EDINBURGH — Edinburgh threw every kind of defense toward South Decatur big man Matt Cornett, but he had an answer every time.
He burned the Lancers offensively inside for a game-high 29 points to advance to the Edinburgh holiday tournament final with a 63-51 boys basketball win.
South Decatur will play Hagerstown in the finals today at 8 p.m. Edinburgh will play Jac-Cen-Del at 6 p.m. in the third-place match.
“Give Edinburgh credit they were hitting their 3s all night,” South Decatur coach Bryan Dixon said. “We were fortunate to hit our free throws down the stretch and knock down our jump shots.”
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The Cougars (6-3) jumped out to an 8-0 lead, but the Lancers (2-8) got three 3-points baskets from Coltan Henderson to cut the Cougars’ lead 15-11 after the first quarter.
South Decatur started a huge offensive rally in the second quarter when they went on a 12-2 run to build the lead in double digits 29-19 at halftime.
Cornett did some damage in the third quarter against the Lancers defense. He attacked inside and earn himself some trips to the free throw line. Cornett had 8 of his 29 points in the third quarter.
“Cornett is as good as a post player around,” Edinburgh coach Drew Glentzer said. “We had to pick our poison. We were after him, and we packed it in, and I thought that was our best way.”
Coltan Henderson had a nice shooting performance. He hit six 3-points to finish with 18 points. Justin Fosskuhl added eight points.
The Cougars put the game away by hitting 7 of 10 free throws late in regulation.
Earlier in the day, Edinburgh let Christel House Academy back in the game with a 16-2 run, but the Lancers fended off the threat in the fourth quarter by starting out in a 13-4 run to put away the Golden Eagles 64-51. Parker Bryant led the Lancers with 13 points. Fosskuhl added 12 points. They received good production off the bench as Cameron Moore and Hunter Dean finished with 10 and nine points, respectively.
“The first game after Christmas is always tough to play,” Glentzer said. “We gave up the lead in the third quarter, and we could have folded and went home. It was a big wake up call as we only gave up 5 points in the fourth quarter. I was proud of our effort and being competitive in winning the game.”
South Decatur had a fourth-quarter comeback, rallying to an opening-round 57-50 victory against Trinity Lutheran.